Update: New York City and CDC Report Positive Tests for Ebola in Volunteer International Aid Worker – 10-24-2014
For Immediate Release: Friday, October 24, 2014
Contact: Media Relations
A hospitalized medical aid worker who volunteered in Guinea, one of the three West African nations experiencing an Ebola epidemic, and since returned to the United States has tested positive for Ebola according to the New York City Health Department laboratory, which is part of the Laboratory Response Network overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC has confirmed the test results in its Atlanta laboratory.
The patient has been notified of the confirmation test results and remains in isolation.
The healthcare worker had returned through JFK Airport on Oct. 17 and participated in the enhanced screening for all returning travelers from these countries. He went through multiple layers of screening and did not have a fever or other symptoms of illness. The patient reported a low-grade fever to local health officials for the first time yesterday. Yesterday, the patient was transported by a specially trained HAZ TAC unit wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Bellevue. The New York City Health Department has interviewed the patient regarding close contacts and activities.
CDC is in close communications with the New York City Health Department and Bellevue Hospital, and is providing technical assistance and resources. Three members of CDC’s Ebola Response Team arrived in New York City last night. Additional team members will be arriving today to New York City. This team is deployed when an Ebola case is identified in the United States, or when health officials have a very strong suspicion that a patient has Ebola pending lab results.
Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids of a sick person or exposure to objects such as needles that have been contaminated. The illness has an average 8-10 day incubation period (although it could be from 2 to 21 days). CDC recommends monitoring exposed people for symptoms a complete 21 days.
For more information on ebola, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola.